Heard on the Hill: Leavell Is a Tree Hugger

Posted March 25, 2011 at 4:49pm

Remember when musicians used to come to town to perform? These days it seems like artists are more likely to make the trek to D.C. to advocate for their philanthropy than to play a set.

Rock legend Chuck Leavell is no different. The longtime keyboardist and musical director for the Rolling Stones will be in Washington this week to lobby for environmental conservation. When Leavell isn’t busy jamming with Mick and Keith, he spends his time as a tree farmer and activist.

During his visit, Leavell is scheduled to meet with Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.). But this won’t be Leavell’s first time hanging out with Members of Congress. In fact, Leavell has been known to hit the stage with musical lawmakers such as Rep. Collin Peterson. In 2009, he played keyboard alongside the guitar-playing Minnesota Democrat at a benefit for the American Forest Foundation.

Leavell has testified before Congress on numerous occasions in his role as co-founder of the eco-friendly website Mother Nature Network. The website provides daily news briefings as well as tips on how to raise a green pet and stories about flash mobs raising awareness about recycling.

Most recently, Leavell’s favorite topics have been biodiversity, climate change and cap-and-trade legislation. These themes will be addressed in his new book “Growing a Better America,” which he will discuss at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

No word on whether Leavell plans to break out his keyboard and offer a musical interpretation of a few chapters.